Ryan Braun on his Fenway reception: ‘The more you deal with it, the easier it becomes’
|04.04.14 at 9:59 pm ET|
Ryan Braun wasn’t about to kid himself.
This wasn’t going to be like Monday in Milwaukee when an adoring crowd welcomed him back to the majors from a PED suspension with a rousing ovation.
He knew Fenway was going to give him a different kind of reception, the one that Alex Rodriguez and other suspected PED users got in the past.
Starting with the lineup introductions Friday afternoon, every time Braun’s name was announced over the Fenway P.A. system, fans serenaded him with boos, boos that got louder and louder each time he came to the plate.
“I’ve dealt with it for the last couple of years,” Braun said. “It’s not something that’s new to me. I’ve had plenty of experience dealing with it and I think, regardless of how challenging anything is, the more you deal with it, the easier it becomes to deal with it.
“So, I dealt with it in 2012. Had my best year last year. I was off to a good start before my early departure.”
Braun’s “early departure” of course was mandated by MLB when he admitted to PED use and was suspended for the rest of the 2013 season.
“All I can do is focus on things I can control, focus on trying to prepare myself in helping my team win games. I’m happy we were able to win. Obviously, an incredible team over there. It was a special day for them, getting to enjoy what they were able to accomplish last year. Certainly, I wasn’t anticipating a reception like I got in Milwaukee. Just focus on the things I can control.”
On Friday, Braun went 0-for-5 with a strikeout and didn’t really contribute as his team scored four times in the ninth to break a 2-2 tie and walk away with a 6-2 win over the Red Sox.
“It always makes it so much better,” Braun said. “I think I’m at a point in my career where I’ve had a lot of individual success and this game is always so much more fun when the team is winning. It’s really not an enjoyable job or profession when you’re not winning. The more games we’re able to win, the more that what I do individually doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on me.”
But for now, all Braun can do is block everything out every time he steps to the plate in a park not named Miller.
“I think it’s the only way,” Braun said. “I don’t know if there’s anything I can do or say. I don’t know if I was yelling at people that would make any type of difference, and that’s not who I am. Again, I try to do the best I can, deal with everything the best I can. There’s no blueprint for any of this stuff. It’s not easy. It’s not fun but I just deal with it the best I can.”
Braun is also dealing with an injured right thumb, an injury that bothered him in spring training.
“Everybody deals with different things that affect them all the time,” Braun said. “It’s just an ebb and flow, up and down, hope that we find something that eventually makes a difference.
“If all our guys stay healthy for the most part, we really believe we have an opportunity to do that. Certainly, this is an extremely challenging place to come in and win games as a visiting team. We played here in 2008 and 2011, so each of the last two times we played here, we went to the postseason. So, hopefully that’s a good sign for us moving forward.”
As for how he plans to deal with things going forward, Braun said he can only control what he can control.
“It’s a hypothetical and I don’t think I’m in a position to guess or make any assumptions or anything like that,” Braun said. “I just try to focus on the things I can control and not worry about the things that are out of my control.”
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